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Armitage as the Plame-Leaker?

Drudge’s pipeline to the Vanity Fair offices has paid off again — this time with the scoop that, according to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, Richard Armitage leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Bob Woodward long before Scooter Libby told Judith Miller:

THE WASHINGTON POST’s famous Watergate editor Ben Bradlee claims that it was former State Department Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage who was the individual who leaked the identity of CIA official Valerie Plame.
In the latest issue of VANITY FAIR: “Woodward was in a tricky position. People close to him believe that he had learned about Plame from his friend Richard Armitage, Colin Powell’s former deputy, who has been known to be critical of the administration and who has a blunt way of speaking. ‘That Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption,’ former WASHINGTON POST editor Ben Bradlee said.”
’I had heard about an e-mail that was sent that had a lot of unprintable language in it.’”

Plame-leak expert Tom Maguire provides some instant analysis:

Well – a recent court hearing strongly suggested that Woodward and Novak shared a non-White House source – Special Counsel Fitzgerald is concealing the name to avoid sullying the mystery person’s reputation, since he does not face charges.
Baffling – a mystery source outed Plame to two different reporters and “forgot” to mention his leak to Woodward in his initial interviews with investigators and in his grand jury testimony. One might have thought this chap had both harmed national security and impeded the Fitzgerald investigation. Yet his reputation must be preserved!

What a fiasco.

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